Luton Borough Council

Care Act Reviews and Reassessments

Luton Borough Council commissioned ICS Assessment Services early in 2016 to undertake an ambitious project comprising of 1,000 reviews and re-assessments of service users within the community supported living service. The Council was left with a significant backlog of cases due to the change in legislation and introduction of the Care Act 2014.

The overall backlog of cases included individuals of varying circumstances, including service users of advanced age, or with learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical disabilities. As the existing Adult Services team lacked the in-house capacity to process this influx of cases, a number of experienced reviewing staff was required to tackle the newly expanded workload.


Key Achievements:

  • 1,000 cases screened and allocated within four weeks of project commencement
  • 17% of all cases screened out with no fee, saving the Council £51,000
  • 830 assessments completed within 5 months using experienced Review Officers
  • Cost per unit reduced from £400 to £215, saving council approximately £180,000

Approach:

ICS Assessment Services used a contracted pool of experienced social workers, paid on a per assessment basis. This model ensured that assessments were completed in a timely manner and to a high standard, as the commissioning authority would only make payment where the assessment met their high quality thresholds.

Assessors completed their assessment in the Council’s case management system, which was then reviewed by our Project Lead for quality and content. Any packages exceeding £495 per week were sent to panel for additional scrutiny.

Based on our initial review of the 1,000 assessments, we were able to identify 170 which no longer required a review due to a change in circumstance. This screening process was offered as part of the project and provided significant savings for the Council, as the cases did not require allocation to one of our assessors.


Benefits:

  • Mobilisation of an experienced team of assessors within four weeks, internal review timescales are quickly expedited following project implementation
  • Full Quality Assurance of assessments within a fixed fee, reducing internal management oversight and ensuring all cases are accepted within a single price point
  • Delivered the project £51,000 below budget, through the utilisation of effective screening processes

Testimonial

“We were extremely impressed with ICS Assessment Services’ stringent and thorough approach throughout their work with Luton Borough Council, and appreciated that the solution proposed was not one-size-fits-all strategy, but suited to our individual situation as a Council.

"Their outsourced reviewing model saved the council both time and financial costs without any reduction in assessment quality. Their dedicated quality assurance lead ensured a high standard of review, and their administrative staff handled data and logistics in a punctual and comprehensive manner.

"Overall, we were very happy with the levels of quality control shown during the course of this project, and satisfied when it was completed on time and to budget. I would highly recommend ICS Assessment Services to any council looking to reduce their outstanding backlog of Care Act Assessments."

Harminder Patel, Head of Service, Luton Borough Council